Anti- terrorism coordinator keeps an eye on Coptic churches

4th January 2011, Comments 0 comments


The National Coordinator for combatting Terrorism NCTb has urged regional police corps to "keep an eye" on Coptic churches. A spokesperson for the terrorism tsar said the agency would be monitoring "Coptic interests in the Netherlands" on the internet.

The measures come after three Dutch Coptic churches were found on an al Qaeda list of possible bomb targets. Last Saturday 21 people were killed in an attack on the al-Qissiddin church in Alexandria, Egypt. The al-Qiddisin church also featured in the Shumukh al-Islam website. The NCTb would not give any further details about security in the Orthodox churches.

The spokesperson stressed that the measures have nothing to do with the publication of the list of targets on the internet. Out of the 100 Coptic churches on the list, 30 are outside Egypt. The three in the Netherlands are in Eindhoven, Utrecht and Amsterdam. The addresses and names of churches in France and Great Britain are also given.

Jozef Rizkalla, the priest of the Coptic Church in Eindhoven, said "There's nothing we can do, we can only pray and refer the matter to the police. We will go on with our celebrations." The anti-terrorism agency says Mr Rizkalla is reporting the matter to the police on his own initiative.

The NCTb spokesperson was unable to say how serious the list of targets should be taken. "There are a lot of things circulating on the internet. We are doing our best to monitor the situation with the AIVD intelligence service."


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